Discover 7 Brown Spiders in South Carolina

Jumping Spider
© Sari ONeal/Shutterstock.com

Written by Alan Lemus

Updated: July 17, 2023

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Brown spiders are a common sight in South Carolina. And with their presence comes a risk of bites that can range from mild irritation to severe symptoms. 

These are 7 notable brown spiders from the great state of South Carolina.

It’s essential to be able to identify these spiders and understand their behaviors, habitats, and venomous or non-venomous nature to stay safe. 

Today, we’ll discover the most common brown spiders in South Carolina. We’ll provide descriptions, distinguishing characteristics, and pictures to aid in identification. We’ll also provide information on their venom and bite symptoms, prevention and treatment measures, and safety tips. 

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to protect yourself and others from brown spiders in South Carolina.

1. The Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spider

The brown recluse spider is often identified by the violin-shaped marking on its body.

©Nick626/Shutterstock.com

Known scientifically as Loxosceles reclusa, this venomous spider is common in South Carolina. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

The brown recluse spider is small and light brown, with a distinctive dark brown violin-shaped marking on its back. 

Unlike most spiders with eight eyes, it has six eyes arranged in three pairs.

Habitat and Behavior

These spiders prefer warm, dry environments. That’s why they’re commonly found in areas like:

  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Closets

They’re nocturnal and typically hide during the day. 

Brown recluse spiders aren’t aggressive and will only bite if threatened or cornered.

Venom and Symptoms of Bites

Brown recluse spider bites can be severe and require immediate medical attention. 

Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite may not appear immediately. They can include:

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • A blister that forms at the site of the bite

In some cases, the bite can cause more severe symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches

Prevention and Treatment Measures

To prevent brown recluse spider bites:

  • Wear protective clothing when handling stored items
  • Use gloves when working in areas where spiders may be present
  • Seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations. 

If you suspect a brown recluse spider has bitten you, seek medical attention immediately. If possible, capture the spider for identification purposes, but don’t handle it with bare hands.

Treatment may include pain medication, antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery.

2. The Southern House Spider

Female Southern House Spider - Black Spiders in Florida

Female southern house spiders are black or charcoal gray, much different from their amber-colored male counterparts.

©Vinicius R. Souza/Shutterstock.com

The southern house spider (known by its scientific name Kukulcania hibernates) is a common brown spider in South Carolina. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is a giant, brown spider with a distinctive abdomen pattern resembling a skull. 

Females can grow up to 1.5 in. in length, while males are smaller. They have eight eyes arranged in two rows of four.

Habitat and Behavior

Southern house spiders are commonly found in and around homes, particularly in dark, undisturbed areas such as:

  • Basements
  • Closets
  • Crawl spaces

They’re nocturnal and feed on insects, including other spiders. 

Southern house spiders aren’t aggressive and are unlikely to bite unless provoked.

Non-Venomous Nature

Southern house spiders are non-venomous and don’t pose a threat to humans. 

They’re beneficial to have around the house as they help to control populations of other insects, including potentially harmful pests such as cockroaches and mosquitoes.

Prevention and Treatment Measures

Keep homes clean and clutter-free to prevent southern house spider infestations. 

Also, seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations to prevent spiders from entering the home. 

If a southern house spider is found in the home, it can be safely captured and released outside.

Safety Tips

While southern house spiders aren’t venomous, it’s still important to exercise caution around all spiders. If a spider bites you and you experience severe pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

3. The Wolf Spider

Hogna frondicola

As frightening as they might appear, wolf spiders are non-venomous.

©No machine-readable author provided. Patrick Edwin Moran assumed (based on copyright claims)./ CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

Wolf spiders (which belong to the Lycosidae family) are large, hairy spiders common in South Carolina.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Wolf spiders are large and hairy. They can range from 0.4 to 1.2 inches in length. They have two large eyes in the center of their head, which are used for hunting prey. 

They’re typically brown or gray with black, white, or tan markings on their bodies and legs.

Habitat and Behavior

Wolf spiders are found in various habitats, including:

  • Forests
  • Fields
  • Residential areas 

Although wolf spiders are active hunters, they don’t spin webs for catching prey. Wolf Spiders are typically nocturnal and can be found wandering around at night.

Non-Venomous Nature

Wolf spiders are non-venomous and don’t pose a threat to humans. While they may bite if provoked, their bites are not typically harmful and may only cause minor swelling and itching.

Prevention and Treatment Measures

Seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations to prevent wolf spiders from entering the home. Also, remove any clutter or debris in and around the home to eliminate hiding places for spiders. 

If a wolf spider is found inside the home, it can be safely captured and released outside.

Safety Tips

While wolf spiders aren’t typically harmful to humans, still exercise caution around all spiders. 

If a spider bites you and you experience severe pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

4. The Funnel-Web Spider

Grass Spider - Agelenopsis

The common funnel-web spider South Carolina residents might see is the American grass spider.

©Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0 – Original / License

Funnel-web spiders (that belong to the Agelenidae family) are a common brown spider in South Carolina. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

Funnel-web spiders are brown with a slightly elongated body shape. 

They’re typically small, ranging from 0.2 to 1.5 in. in length. They have eight eyes arranged in two rows and a unique funnel-shaped web that they use to catch prey.

Habitat and Behavior

Funnel-web spiders are typically found in:

  • Gardens
  • Fields
  • Forests 

They’re active hunters and use their funnel-shaped webs to trap prey. 

Funnel-web spiders are typically nocturnal. However, you can find them wandering around at night.

Venomous Nature

Funnel-web spiders are venomous. Their bites can cause moderate to severe symptoms, including:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness at the site of the bite

In rare cases, bites can cause more serious symptoms like

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps

Prevention and Treatment Measures

Seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations to prevent funnel web spiders from entering the home. Remove any clutter or debris in and around the home to eliminate hiding places for spiders. 

If a funnel web spider is found inside the home, it should be safely captured and removed. However, if one bites you, seek medical attention immediately.

Safety Tips

Exercise caution around funnel web spiders and all spiders. If you encounter a spider and are unsure of its identity, avoid contact and contact a pest control professional for identification and removal. 

If a spider bites you and you experience severe pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

5. The Yellow Sac Spider

Yellow Sac Spider isolated on a white background.

Ranging from just a quarter of an inch to half an inch on average, yellow sac spiders are small.

©D. Kucharski K. Kucharska/Shutterstock.com

Yellow sac spiders (scientific name: Cheiracanthium inclusum) are a common brown spider in South Carolina. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

Yellow sac spiders are small, ranging from 0.25 to 0.5 in. in length. They have a pale yellow or greenish-yellow body with slightly darker legs. They have eight eyes arranged in two rows and two long fangs used to capture prey.

Habitat and Behavior

Yellow sac spiders are typically found in homes, particularly in the corners of walls and ceilings. 

Like wolf spiders, yellow sac spiders are active hunters who don’t use webs for catching prey. Yellow sac spiders are typically nocturnal; you can find them wandering around at night.

Venomous Nature

Yellow sac spiders are venomous, and their bites can cause mild to moderate symptoms such as:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching at the site of the bite 

In rare cases, bites can cause more serious symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Prevention and Treatment Measures

Seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations to prevent yellow sac Spiders from entering the home.

Remove any clutter or debris in and around the home to eliminate hiding places for spiders. 

If you find a yellow sac spider in your home, safely capture and remove it. 

Should a yellow sac spider bites you, clean the bite area with soap and water. If swollen, you can apply a cold compress to reduce the swelling.

Safety Tips

Exercise caution around yellow sac spiders and all spiders. 

If you encounter a spider and are unsure of its identity, avoid contact and instead contact a pest control professional for identification and removal. 

If a spider bites you and you experience severe pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

6. The Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

As diverse as they are, there are many types of jumping spiders. The bold jumping spider is one you can find in South Carolina.

©Sari ONeal/Shutterstock.com

Jumping spiders (which belong to the Salticidae family) are a diverse group of spiders found throughout South Carolina. These spiders’ hunting behavior and visual acuity are unique, making them fascinating to observe. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

Jumping spiders are small to medium-sized, ranging from 1/8 to 3/4 inches long. Their compact bodies and large, forward-facing eyes give them excellent vision. 

They’re typically brown or black with distinctive body and leg markings.

Habitat and Behavior

You can find jumping spiders in various habitats, including:

  • Fields
  • Forests
  • Homes

They’re active hunters, using their excellent vision to stalk and pounce on prey. 

Although these spiders don’t spin webs, they may use silk to create a retreat or line to safety.

Venomous Nature

Jumping spiders are venomous, but their bites aren’t typically harmful to humans. 

Bites may cause slight swelling or itching, but symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few hours.

Prevention and Treatment Measures

Seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations to prevent jumping spiders from entering the home.

Remove any clutter or debris in and around the home to eliminate hiding places for spiders. 

If you find a jumping spider inside the home, safely capture and release it outside. If a jumping spider bites you and you experience severe pain or swelling, seek medical attention.

Safety Tips

Jumping Spiders are generally harmless and beneficial in controlling other insect populations. However, exercise caution around spiders. If you encounter a spider and are unsure of its identity, it is best to avoid contact and contact a pest control professional for identification and removal.

7. The Orb Weaver Spider

The golden silk

orb weaver

spider is one of the most common types of spider in South Carolina.

©Max Rossa/Shutterstock.com

Orb weaver spiders (that belong to the Araneidae family) are a common type of spider in South Carolina. These spiders are known for their intricate webs and distinct appearance. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

Orb weaver spiders range from small to large, with a 1/8- to 1-inch body length. 

They have round abdomens and long, spindly legs. Their webs are complex and circular. They’re known for their bright colors and distinct body and leg markings.

Habitat and Behavior

Orb weaver spiders are found in various habitats, including:

  • Fields
  • Forests
  • Gardens

They build their webs in open areas to capture flying insects such as moths and flies. Orb weaver spiders aren’t aggressive and will usually retreat if disturbed.

Venomous Nature

Orb weaver spiders are venomous, but their bites are not typically harmful to humans. Symptoms may include:

  • Mild pain
  • Swelling
  • Itching

But they usually resolve on their own within a few hours.

Prevention and Treatment Measures

Seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations to prevent orb weaver spiders from entering the home. Remove any clutter or debris in and around the home to eliminate hiding places for spiders. 

If you find an orb weaver spider inside the home, safely capture and release it outside. 

See medical attention if you are bitten by an orb weaver spider and experience severe pain or swelling.

Safety Tips

Orb weaver spiders are generally harmless and beneficial in controlling other insect populations. But exercise caution around all spiders. 

If you encounter a spider and are unsure of its identity, avoid contact and instead call a pest control professional for identification and removal.

Wrapping Up

South Carolina is home to various brown spiders, each with its unique characteristics and behaviors. 

While some are venomous, most aren’t harmful to humans and are beneficial in controlling other insect populations. 

Understanding their habitats, behaviors, and safety tips allows us to coexist with these spiders safely and respectfully. If you have concerns about spiders in your home, contacting a pest control professional for identification and removal is always best.

Summary of 7 Brown Spiders in South Carolina

RankBrown Spider
1The Brown Recluse Spider
2The Southern House Spider
3The Wolf Spider
4The Funnel-Web Spider
5The Yellow Sac Spider
6The Jumping Spider
7The Orb Weaver Spider


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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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